D-Orbit offers in-space transportation services with its ION satellite carrier. Credit: D-Orbit

SAN FRANCISCO – D-Orbit announced plans Jan. 27 to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company in a deal that values the Italian in-space transportation and logistics firm at $1.28 billion.

Through the merger with Breeze Holdings Acquisition Corp., D-Orbit expects to raise $185 million, funds it will use to expand its staff and accelerate investments in products and services including its In-Orbit Now (ION) Satellite Carrier.

D-Orbit was the first in-space transportation company to prove it could move satellites from the point where a large rocket drops them off in orbit to their desired orbital destinations. The Italian company has conducted four ION missions. Two more are scheduled in the first half of 2022.

D-Orbits has ambitious plans for new products and services, including space-based cloud infrastructure “to provide distributed high-performance data analytics computing and storage capabilities,” according to the Jan. 27 news release.

“D-Orbit was founded with the mission to enable expansion in space and fuel the new space economy, and the transaction we are announcing today is an important step forward toward our goals,” said D-Orbit CEO Luca Rossettini said in a statement. “We have made tremendous progress developing and proving our unique ION technology, as well as building a dedicated customer base to which we have provided last-mile satellite delivery and advanced infrastructure services for more than eight years. Today, we deliver complete end-to-end services, guarantee satellite deployment in requested orbits and reduce our customers’ time from launch to revenue generation.”

Through the SPAC deal, D-Orbit is joining forces with the Charles F. Bolden Group, an organization founded by former NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, a retired Marine Corp major general. The Bolden Group, a D-Orbit investor, has a partnership agreement with Breeze. Joining the board of the public company being created by the merger will be A. Ché Bolden, Bolden Group president and CEO, and Renee Wynn, former NASA chief information officer and a Bolden Group cybersecurity consultant.

“With its proven space transportation offering, in-orbit services, B-Corp certification and differentiated in-house technologies, D-Orbit can play a key role in facilitating satellite deployment today and capturing opportunities in the future as demand increases for in-orbit services, “A. Ché Bolden said in a statement. “We look forward to working closely with Luca and the D-Orbit team to take this business to astronomical levels of growth.”

If all conditions for the merger are completed, including approval by Breeze Holdings Acquisition Corp. shareholders, D-Orbit common stock will trade on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the ticker symbol DOBT.

In the news release, D-Orbit reported revenues of $3.4 million in 2021, a $21.5 million backlog, contracts being negotiated valued at $167 million and a $1.2 billion pipeline. The company expects to become profitable in 2024 with anticipated revenues of approximately $453 million.

D-Orbit began testing space-based cloud infrastructure last year.

“The Company believes development of multiple iterations of the system will enable future ION Satellite Carriers to deliver in-orbit cloud based artificial intelligence computing services,” according to the news release.

D-Orbit’s merger with Breeze Holdings is expected to be completed in the second or third quarter of 2022.

Breeze “evaluated a number of potential companies to merge with and determined that D-Orbit checked all the boxes,” J. Douglas Ramsey, Breeze Holdings chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “It has unrivaled satellite deployment technology and is positioned at the forefront of a new category in space infrastructure that is poised to serve industries we know well, including oil and gas, and enabling products and services for the future. We believe D-Orbit has strong growth potential in a compelling market and are excited about how its technology will support a sustainable future for space infrastructure.”

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...